OKC Zoo invites wildlife lovers on extraordinary trips to encounter the wildlife of Tanzania, Rwanda and the Galapagos Islands while learning about the Zoo’s global conservation efforts.
Experience wildlife, wild places abroad with the OKC Zoo’s Conservation Travel Program! This year, the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden, in partnership with Safari Professionals, is hosting two different conservation travel experiences to Tanzania, Africa and the Galapagos Islands, and inviting Oklahomans to come along on these trips of a lifetime!
The first of the Zoo’s two conservation travel opportunities is an exclusive 10-day wildlife migration safari through Tanzania, Africa’s premier safari destination, from July 17 to 27, 2023. Travelers will be in awe as they enjoy up-close views of Africa’s iconic wildlife including lion, zebra, cheetah, elephant, hippopotamus, giraffe, wildebeest, various birds and more while on guided excursions through Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and the spectacular Central Serengeti. The trip, limited to 16 guests of all ages, includes accommodations at six of Tanzania’s luxury lodges providing the ideal setting for relaxation and fun while immersed in nature!
Guests traveling to Tanzania have the option of extending their safari with four additional nights from July 27 to 31, in neighboring Rwanda for an exclusive mountain gorilla trek in Volcanoes National Park. Guests will stay in spectacular accommodations and experience firsthand how the OKC Zoo supports the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and their successful conservation efforts helping several iconic African species.
For travelers seeking to stay closer to home, the OKC Zoo is offering a second travel destination to the Galapagos Islands from September 20 to 29, 2023. Up to 14 guests will travel aboard a private yacht to tour the archipelago of islands home to some of the world’s most unique species found on land and in the sea. Guests will encounter the giant Galapagos tortoise, marine and land iguanas, the blue-footed booby, the flightless cormorant, sea turtle, dolphin, fur sea lion and much more wildlife during daily excursions on the islands and undersea.
Complementing these wildlife excursions to Africa and the Galapagos Islands, guests will be joined by an expert staff member from the OKC Zoo who will explain the Zoo’s conservation efforts and how it is committed to caring for and conserving wildlife seen on these trips. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet representatives from wildlife conservation organizations based in Africa, including the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, and visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about Galapagos conservation in action.
OKC Zoo supports conversation initiatives and partners around the world with funds from its Round Up for Conservation program. Guests are encouraged to donate their spare change when purchasing admission tickets, or when buying food or beverages at the OKC Zoo. By “rounding up” purchases, Zoo visitors have contributed over a million dollars since the program’s inception in 2011.
“We strive to connect Oklahomans with the world’s vanishing wildlife and wild places to inspire conservation action,” said Dr. Dwight Lawson, executive director/CEO for the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. “By providing travel opportunities like these, we hope participants embrace their passion and love for wildlife as they see first-hand how successful conservation programs help all living things thrive, and why we must all do our part to protect wildlife and wild places.”
The African safari to Tanzania aligns with the Zoo’s awaited opening of Expedition Africa, the Zoo’s largest new habitat expansion in its 119-year history. Set to open this summer, the new 12-acre project will provide guests with more immersive wildlife experiences and larger habitats for animals native to the African continent including giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, ostrich, meerkats, African painted dog, cheetah, lemurs, honey badger and more.
The trip to Tanzania is limited to 16 guests and the one to the Galapagos Islands is limited to 14 guests. Families with younger children are welcome on both trips. These amazing travel opportunities are offered by the Oklahoma City Zoo in partnership with Safari Professionals – a wildlife conservation travel company with over 35 years of designing and conducting unique adventures in wildlife destinations throughout the world. Full details on this trip including prices, locations, amenities and travel protocols can be viewed online at www.okczoo.org/travel.
Interested in learning more about these travel experiences? The OKC Zoo is hosting a “Travel Night” on Friday, January 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at its Education Center Auditorium. At this informal gathering, Zoo representatives will describe these trips in greater detail and answer all of your questions. Attendees should park by and enter through the education center located at the east end of the Zoo’s parking lot.
The OKC Zoo is your passport to adventure here and afar! The Oklahoma City Zoo is in its winter hours and open Thursdays through Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. The Zoo is closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays through Wednesday, February 8, 2023. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free.
Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. Zoo fans can support the OKC Zoo by becoming a ZOOfriends member. Starting at $45, memberships can be purchased at ZOOfriends.org and provide access to the OKC Zoo for an entire year plus, additional benefits and discounts. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.